Thursday, July 04, 2024

Mixing Real and Unreal in a Hidden Garden on Vandeventer Avenue

Along Vandeventer Avenue, hidden behind a hedge and shaded by this most glorious of all river birches, lies a little garden that combines the real and the unreal in delightful ways. 
What looks like a congregation of daylilies is actually a mix. The bloom in the foreground is real, while those in the background are silk flowers bought at the Dollar Store. 
Nearby, a real daylily mixes it up with faux irises. 

I mean, why not? We are so quick to take flowers for granted. This at least makes us stop and look more closely. Why not play with the art of imitation, which has reached such a high level, be it in silk flowers or the animated movies that move us as much as those with real people. 

Jim Firestone, who with his wife Tina tends this garden, says the approach has parallels with Seward Johnson's sculptures at Grounds for Sculpture. It's the art of the double take. 

I once wrote a comic script called "Spring Training," in which Nature has tired of the same old progression of blooms in the spring and decides to go rogue, mixing peonies with crocuses, tulips with Rhododendrons. Her exasperated coach tries in vain to convince her to stick with the status quo.
Outside the hedge, seen but not really seen by passersby heading down from Nassau Street, a morning glory rises improbably out of the concrete every year. It looks like it's blooming, but ...

surprise! Real blooms will come from the real morning glory later in the season, but in the meantime, why not have some fun? 

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